Belfast Telegraph

Roadside attack on Antrim businessman by bikers with gun and chain condemned as 'sinister'

By Allan Preston

A roadside attack on a Co Antrim businessman has been condemned after he was targeted by bikers brandishing a suspected gun and a metal chain.

The shocking incident occurred on Friday between 5.30pm and 6.30pm at the junction of the Ballydonaghy Road and Poplar Road in Crumlin.

Police said two men on a red Triumph motorcycle pulled up beside a black Range Rover as it slowed down at the junction.

The passenger got off the bike and damaged the vehicle's windshield by striking it with a metal chain.

He then verbally abused the businessman before trying to hit the windscreen a second time.

The driver of the motorcycle then pointed a suspected firearm at the driver.

The two men were then alleged to have sped off towards the Crumlin area.

The following day a 50-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a number of charges, including possession of a firearm or imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence, possession of an offensive weapon as well as criminal damage.

He has since been released on bail pending further enquiries, with a number of items seized from a search in a Newtownabbey property.

Sinn Fein councillor Anne Marie Logue knows the victim and said she believes the "unprecedented" attack must have been premeditated.

"It's very unfortunate this person has been targeted in such a way.

"He has a very young family and it was very frightening for him. It's very alarming, two men on a motorbike going after a Range Rover.

"I think it's very obvious they knew who they were targeting, with two assailants on a motorbike.

"To me it's unprecedented in the area, a very malicious attack with intent to cause harm."

She urged drivers to keep their doors locked when driving and for residents in the south Antrim area to sign up to a new text alert scheme.

"It's very important, especially coming up to Christmas we're hearing there's a lot of attempts in relation to creeper burglaries."

The free service has been available since September and can be signed up to at www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk/textalert.

Ulster Unionist councillor Mervyn Rea also condemned the attack.

"No one has the right to do this. With the use of firearms, these are the sort of undesirable people we don't need in the community.

"I would wonder if they knew his movements, to have been able to stop him on the road like this. I would appeal to all eyes and ears, if anyone saw anything suspicious or spotted the motorbike in the vicinity.

"Every snippet of information can be useful.

"I've never heard of something like this, with two armed men on a motorbike stopping a vehicle, it's very sinister."

Detective Sergeant Lyttle has said enquiries are continuing and has appealed for any witnesses to contact detectives in Antrim on 101, quoting reference 1015 for November 16.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph

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